In trying to erase the memory of two losses to Screven County last season, the Effingham County Lady Rebels basketball team appeared headed to another loss to their next-door neighbors.
But the Lady Rebels wiped out a nine-point halftime deficit and held on for a 50-46 victory over the Lady Gamecocks in their home opener Tuesday night.
“I thought it was a great team effort in determination,” Lady Rebels coach Nate Hayes said after his team went to 2-0. “I felt we could hang close. We did, and we made some plays down the stretch.
“We wanted to win so badly, we didn’t play well early,” Hayes said. “But to win like this means a lot to us early on and to our confidence for later.”
Sierra Goldwire led the way with 17 points and Kyana Barber had 11 for the Lady Rebels. The key may have been the defense, which Hayes continued to switch on the Lady Gamecocks.
“At the end, we changed defenses and got a few turnovers,” he said. “The key for us was Marie Fogle. She’s our stopper. She sets the tone. I was able to change defenses because of the things she can do.”
The Lady Rebels trailed by five in the first quarter, but Barber’s layup on Shatika Flowers’ dish put them ahead 11-10 to close out the period.
Angela Hagan’s back-to-back 3-pointers put Screven (3-1) in front, and Bria Lonon’s basket to cap a 7-0 spurt put them ahead 27-18.
“I was just happy to get out of here with a win,” Hayes said.